Issue Theme: Writing Is Power: Helping Students Craft Their Wor(l)ds


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Issue Theme: Writing Is Power: Helping Students Craft Their Wor(l)ds

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From the Guest Editors
Pamela J. Hickey and Vicki McQuitty

High School Matters: Attending to Class Discussions to Support Argumentative Writing
Vaughn W. M. Watson, Alphonso Dance Jr., and Rachel Sonnenberg
Abstract: Members of the Secondary Section Steering Committee comment on topics of importance to English language arts educators.

“Can we blog about this?”: Amplifying Student Voice in Secondary Language Arts
Christina Melly
Abstract: This article describes blogging implementation in ninth-grade pre-advanced placement language arts classes to support strong writing practices. The author found that blogging empowered high school authors to craft worlds of digital expression where they pushed each other to become stronger writers.

Power Play: From Grammar to Language Study
Michelle D. Devereaux and Darren Crovitz
Abstract: This piece explores how moving from grammar instruction to language study empowers students and their writing. The authors detail how to leverage what students already know and how certain language moves negotiate power.

Emphasizing the Sensuous: Writing for a Richer Life
April Brannon
Abstract: The author advocates for increased attention to sensory-based writing, arguing that increased awareness of the sensuous leads to a richer life. A writing exercise for each of the five senses is included.

Finding Value in the Process: Student Empowerment through Self-Assessment
Amber Warrington, Lauren Graeber, Holland White, and John Saxton
Abstract: Four English language arts teachers formed an inquiry group to design approaches to writing assessment that would support and foster student writers’ agency, empowerment, and freedom.

“But in the end, you are all beautiful”: Exploring Gender through Digital Composition
Rob Simon, benjamin lee hicks, Ty Walkland, Ben Gallagher, Sarah Evis, and Pamela Baer
Abstract: The authors examine photovoice projects created by students and teacher candidates who explored issues of gender in response to a young adult novel and co-researched that process.

Making Room for the Writers: Creating Time and Space for Secondary School Writing
Mary Frances (Molly) Buckley-Marudas
Abstract: This article focuses on how adolescent writers took up an invitation to write and share a piece of work in school that wasn’t tied to a grade. Students’ responses to this invitation are examined in an effort to revise some of the typical approaches to teaching writing.

Comics, Collage, and Other Things with Crayons: The Power of Composing with Image
Jessi Thomsen
Abstract: This article examines the power of composing images as students construct identities and shape their own worlds. It illustrates student empowerment through agency, intellectual engagement, and community investment and suggests that composing with images forms a bridge back to alphabetic-centric composing.

More Than Words: Student Writers Realizing Possibilities through Spoken Word Poetry
Rebecca Woodard and Rick Coppola
Abstract: This article illustrates an enactment of culturally sustaining writing pedagogy through composing, performing, and responding to spoken word poetry.

Designing and Testing Multimodal Instruction Sets: Writing for Real-Life Users
Sarah K. Gunning
Abstract: How can we make writing instruction more relevant to the writing all students will use on the job—not just college-bound students? This article proposes technical writing components to help prepare students to write for audiences beyond the classroom.

Maximizing the Heuristic Potential of the Enthymeme
Ben Roth Shank
Abstract: This article explores how Aristotle’s enthymeme can serve as an effective prewriting tool for literary analysis in the high school classroom. By foregrounding audience and purpose, the enthymeme clarifies for students their necessary content and options for organizing their ideas.

Teaching Revision as an Act of Voice and Agency
Christopher Mazura, Jacqueline Rapant, and Mary Sawyer
Abstract: Revision is arguably the heart of the writing process, but teachers and students may sidestep the complexities in favor of the quick finish. By surfacing the classroom ecologies and practices involved in supporting student writers, the authors discover revision as a site for the development of agency.

The Square Cucumber: Restoring Student Autonomy and Confidence
Victoria Johnston Boecherer
Abstract: Thomas Nunnally equates five-paragraph format essays with square cucumbers found at farmer’s markets: they have an established structure but no argument. The real square cucumbers are students who need a formula to write competently.

Teaching Informed Argument for Solution-Oriented Citizenship
Casey Olsen
Abstract: ELA classrooms are uniquely positioned to teach students the value of informed citizenship and compelling argument.

Breaking the Thin Glass: Alternative-Genre Responses to Standardized Writing Tests
Mike Miller
Abstract: This piece narrates the year-long journey of students who successfully responded in a variety of genres to a statewide writing test that traditionally calls for nonfictional prose essays.

“The first essay I’d like to show you . . .”: 1:1 DV for Writing Assessment and Reflection
David Narter
Abstract: This article explains the many advantages of Digital Video (DV) Assessments, student DV portfolios, and student DV introductions. It provides a pedagogical and humanitarian rationale for such practices and offers some unexpected results, such as unique and improved teacher-to student rapport.

Poem: Making Time
Raymond Pape

Poem: How Long Does It Have to Be?
Erin Bach

Poem: #28 My Name Means
Victoria Singh Gill

Book Reviews
Thomas C. Crochunis; Leilya Pitre

Continuous Becoming: Moving toward Mastery: The Road to Mastery: Practice What You Preach
Jennifer Jouzdani
Abstract: “Continuous Becoming: Moving toward Mastery” offers suggestions, ideas, and experiences to help novice and veteran teachers discover their own road maps toward mastery.

Lingua Anglia: Bridging Language and Learners: Cultivating Civic Literacy through Positive Classroom Climate
Gary A. Homana
Abstract: “Lingua Anglia: Bridging Language and Learners” discusses critical, transformative, and powerful ways to support students’ acquisition of Standard English.

Speaking Truth to Power: Unlearning Racism, Discrimination, and Othering
Shelly K. Unsicker-Durham
Abstract: "Speaking Truth to Power" seeks to explore the experiences and possibilities that arise when educators speak Truth to power.

Under Discussion: Teaching Speaking and Listening: Promoting Student-Centered Discussion with Digital Tools and Infographics
Christina M. Ponzio and Amy Matthusen
Abstract: This column seeks to provide a forum in which we can lean on each other to investigate and improve the quality of our classroom discussion leadership.

Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom: The Computer’s Constitution: Writing, Power, and Programming for New Democracies
Tom Liam Lynch
Abstract: “Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom” seeks to identify the ways in which our teaching and learning lives are influenced by software.

Speaking My Mind: Shame in the Writing Classroom
Anne Elrod Whitney
Abstract: “Speaking My Mind” invites readers to speak out about controversial issues relevant to the teaching of English language arts.